Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was officially disbarred on Monday, more than two months after a state panel recommended he lose his law licence due to his conviction in an array of brazen corruption schemes when he was in office.
The one-paragraph order from the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the decision in March by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.
“Respondent Rod R. Blagojevich is disbarred," it read.
The move puts a period at the end of a not-so storied legal career that began when Blagojevich was a young Cook County assistant state’s attorney before entering politics.
Blagojevich’s law license was suspended indefinitely after his arrest by the FBI in December 2008, but the process to officially remove him from the Illinois bar was on hold for years as he appealed his conviction and 14-year prison sentence.
In February, just days after Blagojevich’s prison term was commuted by President Donald Trump, a three-member panel for the ARDC heard evidence of Blagojevich’s worst hits as governor, including his convictions for attempting to sell a U.S. Senate seat, shaking down the CEO of a children’s hospital for campaign cash and lying to the FBI.
The panel’s four-page decision recommending disbarment noted that Blagojevich sought to “further his own interests” as governor despite his oath of office and that to this day, “he has not acknowledged that his conduct was wrongful or expressed any remorse.”
In a statement after the ruling was issued, Blagojevich noted he hasn’t practiced law since 1995.
“Imagine yourself sitting on a plane and then the pilot announces before takeoff that he hasn’t flown in 25 years,” Blagojevich said. "Wouldn’t you want to get off that plane? I don’t want to hurt anybody.”
Blagojevich, 63, graduated from law school at Pepperdine University in 1983 and was admitted to the Illinois bar a year later, records show. His only legal experience came as an assistant Cook County state’s attorney, working mostly in traffic court.
Since he was sprung from a Colorado prison more than four years early, Blagojevich has earned money by making videos on Cameo, a website where users pay for personalized video messages from celebrities.
Earlier this month, the disgraced ex-governor was signed to host a weekly podcast called “The Lightning Rod” for WLS-AM radio.
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